Inflammation is the body’s natural response to injury, but an overabundance of inflammation in the body can open the door to some nasty illnesses we’d all rather avoid.
A puffy face after dental work or a swollen knee from bumping into a cabinet are normal sites of inflammation, where immune cells send off chemicals to fight off potential invaders.
But low-grade chronic inflammation is not healthy, and recent studies show it can cause you all kinds of problems ranging from autoimmune disorders to cancer. While you may know that stress and inflammation are linked, another simple lifestyle hack to reduce inflammation in your own body is through your diet.
inflammation in your cells could be contributing to the diseases you will fall prey to later in life
Anti-inflammatory diets are becoming the Next Big Thing in healthy eating, from the Zone diet to Keto, Paleo, and many others.
The basic principles – load up on the greens, eat less sugar and refined carbs – are plain enough, but is it really worth changing up your diet again just to avoid a bit of inflammation?
What’s so life-changing about reducing inflammation?
For over 20 years, the role of chronic inflammation in conditions including dementia, arthritis, and heart disease has been well-known.
Scientists and doctors understand that the inflammation in your cells could be contributing to the diseases you will fall prey to in 1, 5, or 10 years, but they may not be telling you how to quell the inflammation tornado that’s blowing through your body daily.
The good news is that the inflammation your body is carrying can be reduced and even prevented, in large part, by swapping out the inflammatory foods (such as refined carbohydrates, fried food, soda, and margarine) for anti-inflammatory ones.
You can begin to improve your health today – without needing a long grocery list or new diet plan – be adding more of the following four foods into your diet.
#1: Leafy greens
Popeye had it right, getting your daily dose of leafy greens is essential for reducing inflammation and toxic loads in the body.
Whether you saute up some kale in olive oil and chopped garlic, dice some chard into your quiche, or add spinach to your strawberry salad, all leafy greens are linked to improved cognition and reduced memory loss.
Plus, your clearer skin will thank you for bumping your daily veggie intake!
#2: Wild-caught salmon
According to Tracy Lockwood Beckerman, Registered Dietician, cold-water fatty fish like salmon have the huge benefit of being “rich in omega 3 fatty acids which may help lower blood pressure,” so your heart will thank you for indulging in this savory treat.
Ginger is proven to be both anti-inflammatory, and anti-oxidative (meaning it slows down the toxic process of oxidation in the body). So you could think of ginger as your internal superhero, fighting off toxic loads and inflammation so you can live healthy and happy.
Fall brings with it cravings for all things pumpkin, spicy, and warm. That makes ginger the perfect flavor addition to any recipe. Soups, baked goods, and more are perfectly rounded out by a hint of ginger. You can also pair ginger with the spice turmeric for a double-strength spicy anti-inflammatory tea.
Now here’s one thing I’m guessing you’re happy to see on the list – a delicious, sweet little summer berry.
When you squish a blueberry between your fingers, it tends to leave a deep purple-blue pigment behind. This pigment is full of anthocyanins, which are known as anti-inflammatories. So popping a handful of these sweet little berries into your mouth is healthy as well as delicious!
With so many convincing reasons to reduce inflammation in your body, there’s really no excuse not to get started today.
In addition to what you put on your plate, reducing stress, staying hydrated, and incorporating lots of movement into your daily rhythms are also excellent ways to keep inflammation at bay and improve your health.
It couldn’t be easier (or more delicious) to eat for your health with this list of 4 foods that reduce inflammation to help you glow from the inside out. After all, once you’ve filled up your plate with tons of kale, chard, blueberries, and salmon, you’ll barely have any space left for those sugar-laden foods that can spike inflammation.